Right now, you’re probably asking why I’d bother reviewing something that made a ridiculous amount of money, featured a AAA budget, and got the major production treatment. It’s simple: The Meg has a B-movie heart in an A-movie shell, it stars a variety of actors whose credits include the kind of things I’d happily put here, and it’s based on a book that features a megalodon eating a tyrannosaurus rex on the cover. Plus it won a Golden Raspberry. Do I really need to explain any further?
Jason Statham is a rescue diver who is forced to leave behind two friends on a submarine, including the first black guy we see in the film, during a rescue attempt where something attacks the sub. Five years later, a billionaire funding a massive offshore ocean research facility and an oceanographer send a team down below a thermocline section of the Marianas Trench and discover it’s even deeper than they realized. Unfortunately, the sub gets attacked, so they have to bring Jason Statham back from his drunken revelry in Thailand to save folks. In the process, they cause a shift in the thermocline, and some megalodons swim up. The billionaire, his employees, and Jason Statham manage to go after the small one like it’s Jaws, and succeed in killing it, only for the big one to show up, eat the other one’s corpse, and wreck the boat because it’s got nothing better to do. The billionaire sets out to destroy it and gets killed. Meanwhile, his former employees realize the big megalodon is heading to Sanya Bay in China because it’s practically a beach buffet, so they use whale song and torpedoes to try and kill it. End result: a lot of people get eaten, another Jaws seen gets ripped off, helicopters crash into each other, and the giant shark gets killed. Everyone ends up on a yacht that was hosting a wedding, and a small dog named Pippin that was seriously trying to get the hell away from its owner is returned, more terrified of the giant shark than of the uber rich lady that named her freaking dog Pippin.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present The Meg.
Yes, it is rife with Jaws-inspired moments, to the point it got that Golden Raspberry for being a rip-off film. It has much less to do with the slate of 1989 underwater movies like The Abyss, DeepStar Six, or Leviathan, but nobody’s perfect. But if you’ve ever wondered who would win in a fight, Jason Statham or a giant shark, this movie proves that the answer is most definitely Jason Statham. Also, there’s a kid in this movie that is way into popsicles and keeps his despite it being covered in sea water and the threat of a giant shark attack. Gross, kid.
I never want to go swimming in Sanya Bay. It is way too crowded. However, I do want to see more of child actress Sophia Cai. She’s delightful in this film as an adorable eight year old. Child actors can be very hit or miss, but her antics alone would be worth enduring a bad shark movie for; combined with the entertaining absurdity of folks fighting a giant shark, it just improves something I was already enjoying far more than I should.
Also, seriously, it’s based on a book. That book is the first in a series. About giant prehistoric sharks. Life is beautiful.